M-Commerce Growth Helps Shrink Mobile User Acquisition Costs

mobile technology
Deena M. Amato-Mccoy | June 14, 2017

Consumer reliance on mobility throughout their shopping journey presents a huge opportunity for retailers to engage shoppers. 

This is according to “Mobile Shopping: User Acquisition Trends and Benchmarks 2017,” a report from mobile app marketing provider Liftoff. The study analyzed 26.9 billion ad impressions across 4.8 million app installs between April 2016 and April 2017.

According to the study, September was the strongest month to acquire users completing a first purchase ahead of the holiday season. Further, at an acquisition rate of $62.65 per shopper, September is 28.2% less expensive for user acquisition compared to last year. It’s also getting less expensive to acquire new mobile shoppers year-over-year, especially as users continue to grow more comfortable with using their phones, the report suggested.

The most engaged mobile buyers tend to reside in North America. Here, the market is mature as consumers rely on mobile shopping to enhance the commerce experience. But the competition is fierce as the install-to-registration rate is only 4%, indicating that app marketers need to be significantly smarter when approaching this audience.

In fact, North American users are the least likely to register across the geographies examined. However, they are more than two times more likely to move forward with a purchase. With a saturated app market, North American mobile users simply may be overwhelmed by the sea of apps to register for. Once they commit however, they are steadfast: North American users convert to an in-app purchase at a rate of 17.7%, the report said.

However, marketers should not discount APAC consumers, as they are not just window shopping. APAC users are making such strides in their online shopping habits that the install-to-registration rate in the region is 12.4%, nearly three times higher than North America, and right on pace with EMEA at 10.7%. Install-to-purchase rates are markedly higher than any other region, except the United States, at 8.6%.

Similarly, Latin American mobile users are more likely to register in a shopping app than in North America, EMEA and APAC, with an install-to-registration rate of 13.78%. However, of the four regions analyzed, Latin American mobile users are the least likely to move forward with a purchase.

And the difference between these shoppers is huge. Latin America is 95.5% less likely to complete a mobile purchase than North American consumers. The fact that users in Latin America register, but don’t continue through purchase, could be due to a less mature mobile commerce market or simply less comfort around the relatively new mobile shopping space, the report suggested.